Mayfield’s John Fancher pitches during a game May 3 against Fonda-Fultonville at Mayfield High School. F-F won 9-1. Fancer had Mayfield’s only two hits of the game.
By ADAM SHINDER
MAYFIELD — Back on April 14, Fonda-Fultonville Braves were stung by a six-run loss to the Mayfield Panthers, an early-season blow for a relatively young team looking to make its mark upon its return to the Western Athletic Conference baseball team.
When the two teams had their rematch Wednesday at Mayfield High School, senior pitcher Dan Parslow and the Braves made it clear how far they’ve come in a little less than three weeks.
Parslow turned in a dominant outing, allowing just one hit and striking out 14 over 6 2/3 innings before exiting due to reaching the 105-pitch limit, leading Fonda-Fultonville in a 9-1 victory.
“It just show how much we’ve grown and how much better baseball we’re playing,” Parslow said.
Parslow also went 2-for-3 at the plate with three runs batted in for the Braves (6-6, 6-3 WAC) as they rebounded emphatically from Monday’s 13-6 home loss to Galway and brought their overall record back to .500. Brady Myles singled three times and drove in a run out of the No. 8 spot in the Fonda-Fultonville lineup, Myles Andersen went 2-for-4 with an RBI and three runs scored and Cade Kearns, Massimo DiCaprio and Christian Cary also contributed RBI hits.
“I thought we played a pretty solid game overall,” Braves coach Rick Palumbo said. “These guys beat us at our place last time and they looked very good doing it. That’s a good win, and we’ll take it.”
The Braves took an early 1-0 lead on DiCaprio’s first-inning RBI single, then tacked on two runs in both the second and third innings to open things up against Mayfield starter John Fancher, who labored through the first two innings before being lifted after throwing 79 pitches in just 2 2/3 innings.
Parslow added a sacrifice fly in the sixth inning then singled in two runs in the seventh, advanced to third on an error and scored on Cary’s RBI single. It was a nine-hit effort for the Braves led by eight-hole hitter Myles, who singled three times and came around to score on each occasion.
“Brady can play,” Palumbo said. “He gets the bat on the ball and can usually make something happen for us. We try to put guys down there at the bottom of the order than can do something.”
On the mound, it was mostly easy going for Parslow, who utilized a sharp breaking ball to keep the Panthers off balance. The righthander allowed a one-out single to Fancher in the bottom of the first inning, and didn’t allow another hit before he was lifted for Max Shirley when he reached his pitch count limit with two outs in the seventh.
Parslow walked five and hit two batters, with his only real trouble coming in the sixth when Mayfield loaded the bases with nobody out. A wild pitch allowed one run to score, but Parslow bunkered down with three straight strikeouts to end the inning and preserve what was, at the time, a five-run lead.
“My slider was working pretty well, and when you’ve got the whole repertoire working, you know you’re gonna have a good game,” Parslow said. “It felt good (to get out of the bases-loaded jam). I trusted my teammates, I knew they’d make plays behind me, so I could do what I had to do out there.”
“Dan’s a winner. Dan knows how to play, and when we put him on the mound, we have a great chance to win,” Palumbo said.
Fancher had the only other hit for Mayfield, greeting Shirley with a two-out single in the seventh. Riley Mykel provided a calming influence on the mound, tossing 2 1/3 innings of shutout relief, but was lifted to preserve his availability for later this week.
“We just didn’t really have it from the beginning of the game,” Mayfield coach Darren Graf said. “There’s no excuse for not playing. We knew when the game was, we were ready to play and we just didn’t compete. But, that’s why tomorrow’s another day.”
Both teams will be back in action in road games today at 4:30 p.m., with Fonda-Fultonville visiting Berne-Knox-Westerlo and Mayfield taking on Galway.